There are a few areas to protect yourself from with regard to your finances, and one of these is looking out for any potential financial scams. Sadly, scammers will try to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens in several ways, whether it’s imitating legitimate financial advisors or a few other methods that might be attempted.
At Diversified Members Credit Union, we offer a number of tools and resources to protect you from scams and other related concerns, whether for a personal checking account, various business accounts or any of the loan programs we offer. However, true fraud protection also involves some basic care on your behalf as you manage your finances. This two-part blog will begin by going over some of the most common signs that you may be dealing with a scam attempt, while part two will go over some basic steps to take to protect yourself from these sorts of attempts.
Imitating Individuals or Organizations
One of the most common scam attempt formats that disingenuous individuals will use is imitating someone the potential victim may already know. A common example of this is when people pretend to be a financial advisor or an independent contractor for a specific department of the government, such as the IRS.
These types of individuals will either ask for unsolicited financial information or they will try to entice their victims with potential gain through what might seem like an unsolicited pitch. Once this type of potentially fraudulent relationship is established, that’s when the real trouble could begin.
Pressuring Immediate Action
Another common tactic that scammers will use is to pressure their victims into taking immediate action before they’ve had the chance to fully review all of the potential risks associated with what’s being offered. This can be done through several different means, including contacting you by phone, text message or sending emails that push for an immediate response.
Being too quick to act without first taking the time to fully explore all of your options can be a costly mistake. If you’ve been urged into an immediate decision, that’s typically a sign that you may want to reevaluate how it is that you’re handling your finances as a whole.
Presenting a Prize or Problem
In other cases, scammers will present some kind of “prize” or “problem” that they claim needs to be immediately addressed. For example, an email might appear from a potential victim’s financial advisor and offer the chance at winning $1 million dollars by having their credit card information turned over right away.
These sorts of claims are meant to prey upon your sense of urgency so that you don’t take the time to evaluate what you’re actually being asked for or what could potentially happen once your information is shared.
If you’ve received an unexpected call, email or other form of contact that seems like it’s meant to push you into making a hasty financial decision without taking the time to fully explore all of your available options first, then this could be a scam attempt and should be avoided.
For more on spotting the common signs of a financial scam, or to learn about any of our credit union services and how we protect you from such risks, speak with the staff at Diversified Members Credit Union today.